Writing a book is a funny experience. I spend hours and hours trying to craft the perfect story, but in the end my characters tell the stories--and I am no more than just the scribe with modern equipment.
As many of you know, I hadn't planned to write my current book, TIES THAT BIND. But Aedan, the younger brother in my first book, just wouldn't let "The End" be the end. He wasn't a small, nagging voice in the back of my head. He was loud, demanding and indignant.
As a descendant of druids, one of Aedan's magical abilities is the gift of words. He can talk anyone into anything—including this author. The downside to his gift--and there's always a downside--is after a while, no one believes he's sincere.
He also is a minstrel. Music is both his curse and his salvation. He must play, but when he does, his regrets, hopes, joys, sorrows and anger are reflected in the music for anyone to hear.
Here's an excerpt of Aedan and his music from ANAM CARA:
As he waited in the lesser hall for his audience with the king, Aedan fumbled through the fingering of the chalumeau, setting his mind to the notes rather than his fate. Worry faded to the background as he concentrated on recreating the song that had almost pulled him from this world.
The tune idled in his mind, the sound pitch perfect in his imagining. He tested the reeds of the small pipe, blowing softly as he sought and found notes to match the ones in his head. He picked his way from note to note, until he'd replicated the song. It had been fuller, richer, more complex than his instrument could manage, but it was the beginning of his first composition.
Sitting on the floor, knees bent, he experimented with the pitch of the melody. He added a trill, surged toward the crescendo and slowed the beat to the rhythm of a dirge. With growing confidence, he played the tune again, adding his own swoops and flourishes until it swirled and dust motes danced like fairies at midsummer's twilight.
TIES THAT BIND isn't the easiest book I've ever written, but it's one of my favorites. The challenge of taking a self-centered character who always gets what he wants and thwarting him at every turn was fun, as was using the power of a woman's love to make him a better man.